Well-being and relationship satisfaction of couples dealing with an in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection procedure: a multilevel approach on the role of self-criticism, dependency, and romantic attachment
Fertility and Sterility vol:91 issue:2 pages:387-394
Objective: To extend existing research on the psychological impact of IVF by studying the association between the psychosocial factors of self-criticism and dependency, and romantic attachment, with the well-being and relationship satisfaction of couples across the different phases of IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment.
Design: Prospective, three-wave study (i.e., from start of IVF/ICSI treatment, to 3- and 6-month follow-up).
Setting: University hospital. Patient(s): Seventy couples in IVF/ICSI treatment.
Intervention(s): Psychometric tests were administered at first visit of IVF/ICSI treatment, and at 3- and 6-month follow-up.
Main Outcome Measure(s): Psychological well-being, relationship satisfaction.
Result(s): Results demonstrated that preexisting psychosocial factors such as self-criticism, dependency, and romantic attachment are more important factors for psychological well-being and relationship satisfaction during IVF/ICSI than gender and treatment-related factors such as duration of fertility problems. In addition, multilevel analysis, a statistical method that is required for the analysis of longitudinal couple data and decomposes variation in three levels (i.e., time, individuals, and couples), showed more variation in psychological well-being and relationship satisfaction between couples, than between individuals and different time measurements.
Conclusion(s): Preexisting personality factors and being embedded within a certain couple relationship are important factors for the psychological well-being and relationship satisfaction during IVF/ICSI. (Fertil Steril (R) 2009; 91:387-94. (C)2009 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)